For college students, holiday shopping can be a reminder of how little money they have to spend on friends and family. And looking for socially and environmentally friendly holiday gifts to add to your own wish list can be an expensive and frustrating quest. But there are holiday gifts that can increase your holiday cheer and lower your carbon footprint at the same time.
Amazon’s Kindle family got bigger last month: the new Kindle and Kindle Touch are both less than one hundred dollars, and they are perfect for students to use for e-books. The $199 Kindle Fire is a great device for the price—it’s not tricked out like an iPad, but you can still download apps to help you take notes in class, share highlighted book passages with classmates, access your e-mail and much more. With mobile learning apps and programs for online degrees, being able to access your class materials and keep in touch with instructors without having to lug around a laptop is a bonus. And buying fewer paper books can save natural resources.
Mobile Edge Bags
Bag manufacturer Mobile Edge makes some of the best backpacks and laptop bags available, and their EcoCollection has totes, backpacks and carry-ons made from material produced from corn stalks. They’re also durable and available in a variety of stylish colors and patterns.
Solio Bolt solar charger
Charge your cell phone, tablet or other devices with clean and free solar power with the Solio Bolt charger. One hour of sun gives you up to 15 minutes of talk time on a cell phone or up to 40 minutes of music on an MP3 player. And Solio is offering a special version of the Bolt this year where the proceeds will go to providing home solar power kits to families in rural Kenya.
Food Matters by Mark Bittman
New York Times columnist and food writer Mark Bittman is famous for his cookbooks like How to Cook Everything, and his columns that chronicle the state of the food business in America. Food Matters serves as a “guide to conscious eating,” and details how the industrialization of food production has had a negative toll on the environment and our bodies. The companion cookbook is full of healthy, cheap and delicious recipes you can make without much culinary skill—a plus for students living in dorms or small apartments.
Advance Time solar powered alarm clock
Getting to class on time might always be a struggle, but the Advance Time solar powered alarm clock will wake you up using clean energy. Large and easy-to-read numbers, temperature readout, and a solar battery that lasts for up to five years make it a gift you can use even after you graduate.
Each of these gifts is affordable enough that you can give them as gifts to friends and family and encourage them to be eco-friendly as well. Searching for green gifts and making a list full of green gifts can make both you and the earth a little happier.
Lindsey Harper Mac